It looks as though Summit is inching its way closer to unveiling the highly-anticipated and perhaps most challenging material of Ender’s Game – the Battle Room scenes. We got our first look at Gavin Hood’s adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s famous sci-fi novel back in December, and while that image gave us a good look at Asa Butterfield’s Ender, Harrison Ford’s Colonel Graff and the Launchies’ dormitory, this new shot is loaded with far more detail pertaining to the crux of the story.
Ender's Game takes place in the near future after humanity survives an attack by an invading alien race called the Formics. Even though the heroic Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) led the International Fleet to victory, the fear that the Formics will return remains, so the IF created a place called Battle School to train the most promising children to defend Earth. That’s where Ender Wiggins comes in.
Ender is handpicked to leave his family, travel to space and enroll in Battle School, where one of the main components of the curriculum is the game in the Battle Room. Think laser tag, but in zero gravity and with much higher stakes. Students are sorted into armies and, in the image above, it’s revealed that Ender eventually finds himself in Salamander Army with Hailee Steinfeld’s Petra Arkanian.
The dormitory is one thing, but this shot of Ender and Petra in the cafeteria is a giant leap closer to the Battle Room. Battle Room gossip and pressure consumes all of Battle School, but the stress of needing to be the best of the best is front and center in the mess hall, courtesy of that scoreboard. The background is a little fuzzy, but it’s easy to make out the Asp and Rat Army logos, the status of their players and the game overall – likely a completed game, as there appears to be members of Rat Army in the mess hall. We also get a look at what seems to be a map of the Battle Room, “stars” and all.
Zooming back out we see a number of key players. There’s Ender and Petra, of course, but then we get our first looks at Khylin Rhambo as Dinker Meeker to Ender’s right and Moises Arias’ Bonzo on the far end of Petra’s side of the table.
Clearly the standout here is the level of detail. Let’s all wash our hands clean of the fact that Beautiful Creatures was silly, sappy YA book-to-film nonsense, and recognize that there is some young adult material out there boasting a far more thoughtful premise with more profound core concepts; Ender’s Game is definitely one of them. Then again, exceptional source material certainly doesn’t necessitate a successful feature - but at this point, at least Ender’s Game seems very promising as far as talent, costumes and production design are concerned.
Ender’s Game opens in U.S. theaters on November 1st, 2013.
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